Chapter 1:1-17: The Priority of Unity in Christ Jesus
Corinth was a diverse, sexually immoral and factious city. It totally resembles Atlanta.
Paul had founded the church at Corinth and had been in touch with the church. The church had written Paul asking for help with several issues.This letter was written to address those issues.
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.
- Paul constantly working in partnership
- Sosthenes: former Synagog Leader, beaten by mob…converted by Christ
I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy because you belong to Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
- The message is for the WHOLE church…All who belong to Christ
- He makes us His when we call on His ‘Name’ (Reality of who HE IS recognized)
- He has done this to you just like He does it for people everywhere
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.
- Paul is thankful for all Christ has given us by making us HIS
- How well do we appreciate all Christ has done for us?
Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true.
- The real results in our life, attitudes, values, lifestyle, purpose and understanding
- These ‘Actual Results of Biblical Conversion prove the truth of the Gospel
Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Christ has given us what we need, and will continue to do so until HIS returns
- His Spirit in us ‘Designates Us’ as: Forgiven / Redeemed / Adopted
- He does this so you can be His partner in the redemption of all creation
- Lordship of Christ is critical to the whole process
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
- So based on all of this and by Christ’s Authority Paul reminds us of our ‘Oneness’
- We are united by and around our Lord Jesus Christ, so let’s act like it!
- It is the FIRST thing Paul wants to tell this Church and ours
For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
- Division is one of the Devil’s key strategies to disrupt Christ’s Church
- He does it by tempting us to sin that involves PRIDE
- Following ‘Parts’ of the Body rather than the Head acting through the parts
- Following ‘Only’ Christ puts you outside of the system Christ set up
- Christ gives His authority to the Church; exercised though ‘Plural Leadership’
Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!
- He refutes that there is a place for any division in the Body of Christ
- He does the Saving, Baptizing and placing of people into the ONENESS
I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)
- He did do some baptizing, but it was not his focus
- He was not keeping score
For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.
- He was not looking for the attention of being the one who baptized
- He knew what his primary role was: Declare The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- He knew that it was not about what he said or his ability to impress with words
Paul begins with asserting that we all have a common call and place
That we unify around that call and the ONE who calls
That we have so much to be thankful for having been made partners of Christ
And because of that we have a responsibility to be united in every way
That we have different roles in the body that allow us to express that unity
What are the gifts, grace and peace you have ‘Belonging to Christ’?
Describe the partnership you have with ‘Christ our Lord’.
What role can you play in protecting and promoting unity & harmony here @ Midtown?
Why are divisions, cliques and human allegiances damaging to Christ’s Body?
Why does Paul put ‘I only Follow Christ’ in the list of wrong thinking about the Body?